“Ya’ll come back now.” Southerners are often teased about using “ya’ll,” but sometimes there’s a real need to be more precise with the word “you” than formal English allows.
Some bibles, for example, use “ye” to translate the “you all” of Greek and Hebrew. Most, however, make no distinction at all. One result has been to confuse the question of “who is the temple of God.” Is it you? Or is it “you all”?
Many think individual believers are “temples of God.” They would cite . . .
1 Cor 6:19, “… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit….”
But Paul’s use of an “individual as temple” argument to promote personal morality most likely derives from a more primary understanding of the church as a whole being the temple of God. Consider his use of “you all” in the following passages.
1 Cor 3:16 17, “Know ye not that ye [you all ] are the temple [not temples] of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye [you all] are.” (KJV)
2 Cor 6:16, “…for ye [you all] are the temple of the living God….” (KJV)
Eph 2:18 22, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. …. In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye [you all] also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. (KJV)
In a day when so many Christian “rejoice in the Spirit” while rejecting the church, remember the indwelling Spirit is simply a means toward a collective end. Its purpose is not to transform solitary Christians into individual “temples,” but rather to make them fit for inclusion with others into a corporate “habitation of God.” This is the key to understanding the work of the Spirit throughout the Book of Acts and throughout the NT as a whole. Any spirit that works contrary to that purpose is a fraud or misused.
Tags: temple of God